John Selwyn Gummer
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John Selwyn Gummer, a former Conservative Cabinet Minister, was raised to the peerage as Baron Deben in 2010.
Links to Coca Cola
- One of David Cameron's first moves on becoming Tory leader was to set up a Quality of Life Policy Group to spend 18 months developing a new, greener environment policy. The group is chaired by former Environment Secretary John Gummer "backed up" by new Tory parliamentary hopeful, Zac Goldsmith, editor of the Ecologist magazine.
- There was scepticism from the outset about how the pair would get on, especially given their divergent views on nuclear power (Goldsmith is dead against; Gummer - who has the Sizewell plant on the edge of his Suffolk Coastal constituency, likes to be considered "thoughtfully pro-nuclear").
- But this isn't the only issue likely to cause acrimony. Goldsmith's Ecologist has been championing a campaign by the organization Karma Banque to drive down the share price of the Coca Cola Company. Karma Banque, the brainchild of green activist, Max Keiser, organizes "smart boycotts" of companies it considers unethical, and, at the same time, sells the company's shares short, inviting hedge funds to pile in and do the same. Every time the company's share price drops, Karma Banque collects a profit, which it pledges to use to help the world's poor.
- Goldsmith has been scathing about Coca Cola's activities in India, accusing the company of forcing people to travel eight miles a day to find clean drinking water, and says he thinks Karma Banque might be able to wipe close to 2 billion off Coca Cola's market value. Karma Banque certainly seems to be having an effect. Last week Goldman Sachs adjusted its rating for Coca Cola downward, forecasting reduced demand in Europe. And to whom can the rattled soft drinks manufacturer turn for help as its stock values tumble? Step forward Sir John Gummer, chairman of Coca Cola's UK Environmental Advisory Board.
- Lord Deben, parliament.uk, accessed 4 January 2010.
- Private Eye, 1150, 20 January - 2 February 2006